This rich and extra flaky pastry dough is excellent for making croissants (medialunas) as well as a diverse range of attractive pastries known collectively as facturas in Argentina. Argentina is known for its bakeries filled with huge assortments of beautifully prepared pastries. Customers can buy an assortment by the dozen to share with friends, a popular practice that could be likened to buying a dozen bagels in the U.S.
This pastry dough takes a few extra steps to prepare, but it's not difficult and it's well worth the effort.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 eggs
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup butter
- Place 4 cups of all purpose flour in a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer). Whisk in the salt and the sugar.
- Heat 3/4 cup of milk until it is warm but not hot (about 100 F) and stir in one teaspoon of sugar and the yeast. Set aside until mixture looks foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Stir the water/yeast mixture, the eggs, and the vanilla into the flour mixture, using a wooden spoon. Add a bit more water if the mixture is too dry. When the dough starts to come together, knead it with your hands (or with the dough hook attachment, if using a mixer) until you have a smooth dough. The dough must be very smooth and elastic, which requires a fair bit of kneading. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, place the 2 sticks of cold butter side by side on a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the butter loosely with the plastic wrap, forming a 6 inch square around the butter. Using the rolling pin, gently smash and roll the butter into a 6-inch by 6-inch square. Chill the butter square for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Remove both the yeast dough and the butter/flour square from the refrigerator. You want them to be about the same texture -- not too cold and firm, but not too soft either -- so that you can roll them out together and so that the butter is not melting as you roll it out. If the butter/flour square is too cold and firm, let it warm up and soften for a few minutes before beginning. If the butter starts to melt and ooze, return the dough to the refrigerator.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the yeast dough into a large 13-inch by 13-inch square. If the dough is stretchy, allow it to relax for a few minutes and then continue to roll it out. Place the butter/flour square in the middle of the rolled out dough, positioned so that its corners point to the middle of each side of the rolled out dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter so that they meet in the middle and completely enclose the butter layer.
- Turn the dough over (lightly flouring the counter as needed) and quickly roll the dough square into a slightly larger rectangle, about 12 by 16 inches in size. Fold the rectangle of dough into thirds lengthwise, like a letter. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out into a large rectangle again. Fold into thirds, wrap with plastic and return dough to the refrigerator. Repeat this procedure twice more, for a total of 4 times. Chill dough thoroughly, well wrapped, overnight if possible.
- The dough is now ready to use to make croissants or other pastries. Store dough in the refrigerator, well wrapped, for up to 2 days. You can also freeze the dough for later use. Let dough soften a bit at room temperature before rolling it out.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||15 g|
|Saturated Fat||9 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||5 g|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g|